Friday, 28 May 2021

days.

insomnia carries

its weight through 

my days

dragging my feet 

slowing my heart

heavy on my eyes 

insomnia carries. 


grief weighs

its way through

my days

pricking my nerves

poking at memories

getting my guts

grief weighs.


happiness floats 

over my head through 

my days

out of reach

visibly pretty

achingly far

happiness floats. 


Thursday, 13 May 2021

left.

the grimest

of reapers

doesn't want

you dead,

for him the

satisfaction 

lies in your

suffering. 


a cast

of shadows

greets you 

as you run

but you

can't let the 

rapture

catch ya.


aim for the

thin places

the spaces

where the 

air is pregnant

& you are 

born again. 


depleted 

but you 

can't fight

the devil

with willpower 

so acceptance 

is all

that's left.



Tuesday, 11 May 2021

cheyenne.

sitting in the shadow of the rockies

it's a long way there. 

fog covered mountain, secrets

i'd like to leave behind 

here in the shadows.

hands feel like ice

and ice feels like fire

and it won't feel so cold

if you just keep walking. 

stopping 

lets the chill air catch you

here in the shadows.

keep breathing deeply

the air is much

much thinner here

so catching breath is 

mindfulness, 

not mechanical.

think of the pioneers 

and slip on some sheepskin 

listen to the whispers.

because the mountain

knows them by their names

& by their dreams.

dream of steam trains 

and ski shoes, try to

pioneer your way out

of the past

of my head

it's not quite white yet

not quite hermit time.


Monday, 10 May 2021

storm.

it's deliciously messy 

when cuts cause blood

but not always.

i'll ask you to

send envoys 

from another 

threshold, because 

however harrowing 

the daytime 

there is still 

enormous scope 

for the night.


apparently & differently 

the scariest step

is out.

when the blues

keep banging

in your head 

every step

is pointless, 

like a circle.

this time

the storm

stays silent.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

don't

write an anthem

write a prayer

write for the man

who is not there. 

write real fast

but reluctantly 

embrace the rhythm 

that you feel don't see.


don't see colour 

don't see race

don't see the nose

that's on my face

don't see the facts

that surround you now

i dream of better

but i don't know how. 

Friday, 7 May 2021

coffee

i choose coffee
over love.
why not?
my heart already 
ripped dripping
from my chest
that night,
that night of 
a thousand knives.

i choose coffee 
& make it strong. 
make it a liquid
to drip pitch
down my throat. 
make it in shots 
& give me
the bullets 
to load.

i choose coffee, 
because if it's 
hard to sleep
it's hard to dream. 

i choose coffee.
over water, over tea
over land, over sea
over anything else
you want to serve. 

Thursday, 6 May 2021

places.

i wake early to watch

the clouds

as if they were 

television.

joined by birds

incredulous 

we sing

& we sing

in a voice not quite

melancholy. 


i like to find

the thin places,

the spaces between

here

& not here.

someday the rapture

will take me

but for now

i settle for

some other damn

paradise.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

strips.

it only took

a look

to turn me

into a

somebody 

done

somebody 

wrong song,

leaving me

bleeding roadside

in a sentimental 

way.


we sit

through the

guilty hours

ripping strips  

off a reality

rendered over

and nothing

that you say

can make 

this bitter 

distance

better.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

didn't.

i didn't see it coming

when he took my hand

on the corner of

underdog & vine,

heartskip romeo

to sweep me

off the street.


so i didn't see it coming,

drunkdriver fast 

a car

to sweep me 

off the street 

& closer to heaven

than a body should climb. 


i didn't see it coming,

the gravity slap

that the 

the comedown implied. 

i was the prima ballerina 

in the frantic dance

around the inevitable. 



Monday, 3 May 2021

covered.

i'm not in

the habit of

misguided 

infatuation, so

what i like most

is your haunting 

storm damage

and the easy way 

you cover it over 

with sarcasm 

& substance abuse.


but whiskey 

don't make lucky

so i become 

familiar with the 

quick exit of the 

one night stand,

& the cold of the

middle of the

night.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

needs.

"i'll be there soon"

he said

a long time ago.

i stayed long enough 

for a spider to spin

a web on me

so that she could

whisper in my ear

"if you need me i'll 

be dancing".

Friday, 30 April 2021

thoughts.

 i'm not in the business 

of giving things away 

but this frown is free,

i made it myself 

from found objects

so you see

it has your name on it.


once,

and later on

the needle scratches 

words of

ambiguous meaning,

another tattoo 

torment.


thoughts, they 

waterfall, & the 

only time

peace finds a

home here

is when elvis

sings the 

blues.




Sunday, 7 April 2019

eight

if ever i dreamed
of a bleak city
this is it.

nameless buildings
and strip malls
with too many signs.

the trees are
closing shop for winter
shadows of their
former selves.

sticks and stoned don't
break my bones but
the cold takes
my breath away.

seven

they have closed the coffee shop
whe you committed suicide,
drinking cup after cup after cup
of coffee too strong for
your heart to handle.

i walk past, trying to remember
the good times, the sane times.
i flick my eyes to the skies
because i don't know where else
to look for you.

time does help but cannot hold
my heart the way that you did,
like a badge on your chest.
i still take my coffee strong
as a lesson from the dead.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

six

we stay until
our shadows grow
so long
they are almost
out of reach.

you linger,
touch my hand
and say
"there is just
one thing more..."

sound turns hollow
and crickets weep,
but our glory
will live in
the small arrangements.

Friday, 5 April 2019

five

i take my safety for granted,
like i'm a man
or something
tall.
i rationalise it as
calculated risk,
but really
i'm just playing craps
with the fates

janine balding
sally roethe
le ngoc le

walking with a
confidence that
i only have
sometimes
their stories roll
through my head

mary freeman
teah rose
simone fraser

i brace,
form a fist
with my keys

caroline willis
gail winner
ros thompson

because society
ain't gunna
fix this

maria korp
katrina and cynthia miles
jill meagher

but i still hold
my head high

caroline matthews
margaret tobin
rebecca wilde

and keep walking.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

four

looking to the hills
we discuss the value
of nature, then
decide to go there.
breathing deeply,
hoping this
moment
is strong enough
to hold us
we fold into
the undergrowth.
with blindfolds on
we can quench
our other senses,
while in between
thunderclaps
my heart has time
to skip a beat.
there is no fruit
left uneaten
until the
pixies sing a
love song that
goes too long
and we know
it is time to get out.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

three

dark alley daytime
where deep humans
take refuge from a
world too shallow
to comprehend.
the light doesn't
shine here.
nothing shows
or grows or is
nurtured in
this underbelly,
but comfort can
still be found.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

two

we find our happy place
park benching with coffee,
and although i don't expect it
we both start crying.
it's not so much the
words we say
as the deep sense of
hopeful ennui
we both share. 
we feel intrepid,
and although the heart
that you give me is
cracked and bloody
it is whole.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

one

like something
left out of
a documentary
i hit the road.
shale shines like
second hand silver
beneath my feet
& with the wind
at my back
there's nothing
but black tar madness
showing me the way.

it's a dusty shuffle,
sometimes clinging
to the earth
for fear that gravity
and memory
will fling me to realms
too sacred for
a waif like me.
birds that are
nameless
call my name,
call me home.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

developing.

developing a habit
as easy as
falling down.
so i make my bed and
gnaw the inside of my mouth,
lying you myself
that this will ever end.

Monday, 9 April 2018

between.

between the scrub
and the sea
you'll find me.
i come here for the calm,
the medicinal waves
changing the way that i think
from chaos to
a new kind of archetype.
i come here for the salt,
for when my lungs scream
their questions that only
the sky can answer
the salt air soothes and mends.
i come here to be
aware but not hypervigilant,
sedate but not sedated,
contained but not boxed in.
between the scrub
and the sea
you'll find me.

gone.

it could have been another woman
but it was the wine.
the effect was the same,
he was absent, vacant,
lost to her.
everything they built
deconstructed slowly,
crumbling with every
dreadful headline
until he was
washed away.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

pantoum.

you show me how strong you are
and i show you i can take it.
there are flaws in our brushstrokes
but still the magic happens.

and i show you i can take it
beading sweat and clenched teeth
but still the magic happens.
there is power in our fragility.

we don't look too closely because
there are flaws in our brushstrokes.
i show you what soft feels like
you show me how strong you are.

while the moon watches.

the moon looks loosely
through the window
while i flirt with danger,
and the drop.
noise turns hollow
and crickets weep
from the pain
of dawn breaking.
i let the last of the darkness
swallow me
as i contemplate
the necessary evil
of revelling in un-wellness.
i find it serves a higher purpose,
a game to scare the shit
out of myself
and roll over into normal.

Friday, 6 April 2018

my superhero.

i wanna channel jane eyre
with the voice of kathryn hepburn.
i'd ride an invisible steed and
together we would map
the bleak landscape.
so wherever there was
a poor orphan child
or some damn selfish bastard
to rescue
we'd be there.

i wanna pull myself up
by my bootstraps
just like jane eyre.
i would still have my moments,
but once the cape goes on
i am a superhero
like jane eyre.

i wanna rise from the ashes
because of jane eyre.
i don't seek redemption
just a choice.
what would jane eyre do?
stay on the bus sista,
ride your own journey.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

every step.

when she's paying attention
she steps on no cracks
and every tread has purpose.
when she is unwell
her footsteps tell
a different story.
they take tangents
and cross wires
because every tread is
black hole madness.
stasis
is useful
only some of the time.
and choice
is a luxury
reserved for others.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

heart of the matter.

i have something
caught in my throat.
so i drop into a dreamstate
(because this poem is not about me).
and with my right hand
            reach
                     past
                             my teeth
and over my tongue,
             slip
                   through
                                my gullet
and touch my fingers on
the heart of the matter,
which is that i am lacking.

Monday, 2 April 2018

days.

each day bleeds onto itself
like the day daddy
sent mummy a love letter
in the shape of a crowbar.

every day hurts
like the way the calipers
clamp to my thighs to support
my broken spine legs.

some day this will end.
like an angel calling from
a very dark place i will be gifted
merciful oblivion.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

corny point.

the aesthetics of fire,
sharp, and to the point.
the symbiosis of touch,
too much.
the chemistry of music
when it hits my brain.
the omnipotence of nature,
naturally, it soothes me.
the openness of the tribe,
in numbers we are strong.

five points fall into one and if i have to choose
i'd choose forward,
away,
to you.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

fragile



they met in a land of missed connections
in the year of bad timing.
he came from the clouds or
the mountains, high on expectations
but jangling with tambourine dreams
and too much energy.
she revealed herself one sentence at a time.

he was never still but very deep,
so deep she stuck to the shallows
for fear of drowning. “i’m not used
to travelling such long distances”
she said, making him ache in places
he had been ignoring for a long time too.

the laws of nature are elusive, so
when they danced, they danced to music
with a strong melody line and an
irregular beat. and when he fell apart
she patched him up, but the pieces were
deeply broken, some left behind with
old friends, in pawn shops and in
cemeteries, so she never really found him.

and when it wasn’t easy she grew hard,
falling again into a well of bad habits. while
he searched in vain for a lifeline all he
found were more needles.
there was some suspicion of a demons plot,
but forgetting the rhetoric she tucked him
under a cautious blanket, on the longest night
and pretending the ease of an opera diva
watched the closing credits roll.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

this is a story about a balloon.

(ziggy stardust, david bowie album tribute gig 6/8/17)

i see you with elvis at the 7/11
hear your voice as i walk the aisles.
ziggy lives! i tell myself
as i drop out to music 
i was sure had been written for me.

i camp out in car parks, in weather, in band shirts, in tight jeans, in sleeping bags and in fan packs, flicking off spiders and jonesing for a glimpse of you.

i lie awake dreaming that perhaps maybe someday we will actually, realistically meet. i mean literally, in the flesh. and if that did happen finally, hopefully. maybe i'd say something funny, something funny enough to flick the switch on the beer light and your sweet, sweet hands will get to know me down to the bones.

i hang out with girlfriends, your songs on repeat, riffs rewinding endlessly, endlessly. (can you hear me major tom)? we we do each other's make up to look just like you then we make up scenarios about you and me and you and her and you and me and her.

we draw pictures in our school books then on rainy nights and full moons carve your name in my arm with a compass so you will never leave me. we'd mix our blood with poster paint to plaster on tshirts and in our bedrooms we'd dance and dance and dance, your image on my walls watching over us like a saint. we'd use you for kissing practice as ziggy jammed with the jean genie and our mothers didn't understand any of it.

we were mesmerized, screwed,
we were licked, we were hanging.

there is only one light.

and when i am actually, physically with you, when i'm there in the stadium, when i am one with the masses i push you and i push you and i scream out your name in you thin white face and i'm insane at how insane your music makes me it's like your guitar is jacking my brain.

we never saw it coming.

red mist and red wrists
you took me to mars,
covered in a stardust blanket
i would follow you anywhere.

i see you with elvis at the 7/11
hear your voice from beyond as i walk the aisles.
ziggy lives! i tell myself
as i drop out to music
i was sure had been written
just for me.


Monday, 28 August 2017

is it any wonder?

(fame, david bowie tribute gig 6/8/17)

i'm busy using gold to pass the time
find a penny, find the line
gotta get a raincheck on pain.

can't see the trees but the forest is near
do you remember the time we were clear?
i'm busy using gold to pass the time. 

if it quacks like a duck then follow it
if it smells like paradise follow it
gotta get a raincheck on pain. 

i fly like a kite so i don't pay the fees
of my rock star responsibilities 
i'm busy using gold to pass the time. 

what i need is in your face
what i get is worth the chase
gotta get a raincheck on pain.

sipping cocktails in a land called fame
the pyros fire up in hollow lane
i'm busy using gold to pass the time
gotta get a raincheck on pain.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

ripped off #10 (crazy - willy nelson)

crazy.

i'm crazy for trying,
trying to negotiate an 
adult relationship
in the face of such
childish behaviour. 
i can take the wandering songs,
but not the molasses.

i'm crazy for trying to
make a connection
that can wrap us in answers
to all the hard questions, 
so that it lasts more than
one month
one week
one night.

i'm crazy for trying to
show you my ever lovin' heart,
to be your rock
when all you wanted
was to roll on down the road
to places and people unknown.

i'm crazy,
crazy for thinking
these blues are gunna lift
when you walk into view,
because the bass beat you carry
has a black dog numbness
about it,
about you,
crazy.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

ripped off #9 (everybody's got something to hide except me & my monkey - the beatles)

everybody's tripping my footsteps,
got something leading to
something slippery, jittery, glittery 
to kill my vibe.
hide me from the darkness 
except when it takes
me out of the chaos
and when that happens 
my suitcase will pack itself and my
monkey and i are out of here.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

ripped off #8 (jungle love - steve miller band)

i love you for your crazy love
your mad crazy love
i love you mad crazy 
crazy love crazy love. 
i make you wait to
make you crazy
crazy love. 
peaches and cream your love
with peaches and cream love
love creamandpeacheslove
making you crazy 
pouring with rain
making me wet your love
your love pours
(creamandpeachescrazy)
pouring like your questions
your attention questions
mad with rain and crazy,
crazy love. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

ripped off #7 (monkey in your soul - steely dan)

you'll be back.

i hear you snoring in the next room. 
you love falling asleep on the couch
hate waking with dagger in the neck neck.

you roar even before you open your eyes. 
you love being primal
hate the way your instincts make you feel. 

i hold all the assets.
you love that i'm responsible 
hate that you can't take responsibility.

i see you through the studio window. 
you love when i watch
hate you have to fight for any attention. 

you storm out at the scent of an argument.
you love the crazy in me
hate that you can't control the monkey in my soul. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

ripped off #5 (hide your love away - the beatles)

hide. 

out on the tundra 
under pressure,
especially the staring,
daring citizens with
good intentions
mention i should just
"shut the fuck up"
so i keep walking.

from a distance
mist precedes your arrival. 
i dry my face
and trace the path 
to your door.
you say
"shut the fuck up."
and i keep walking.

seems so easy
sleazy people bounce
from room to room
from bed to bed. 
i can't abide
those kinds so i
shut the fuck up
and hide.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

ripped off #4 (december - collective soul)

surge.

there's a word for the surge that you give me
when i'm looking for a very mellow drama
while december whispers of treachery.

incantations put us both in jeopardy 
take the curtains from the windows for now
there's a word for the surge that you give me. 

i'm caught in the thrawl of heavy delicacies
don't let the blindfold slip baby
while december whispers of treachery. 

your fingers have their own blessed memory
strip my skin so i can be truly naked
there's a word for the surge that you give me. 

now be bold and prepare the weaponry
a soldier rarely multitasks
while december whispers of treachery.

fear of the future has it's hooks in me
so explode with me while there's still time
there's a word for the surge that you give me
while december whispers of treachery. 


Sunday, 30 April 2017

ripped off #3 (i wish i was your mother - mott the hopple)

playtime is over.

pretending the motions
of a happy ending
i come up short.

we can't live on wishes
or second rate love songs,
the rabbit hole calls me.

and it doesn't matter
how many secret altars 
i build
i'll never get far
without crossing a few
thresholds. 

playtime is over,
the drawbridge is up. 

ripped off #2 (badlands - bruce springsteen)

badlands. 

the clay that i am made of
crumbles back into the landscape.
it's gully dry
and sunset will surely catch me,
wrap me in a blanket 
of badlands hospitality.

this mother nature's cradle
is full of nettles and shale
but my boots keep moving,
through the badlands
through the undergrowth 
which is the only growth 
around these parts.

this glorious colour pallette 
ain't gunna save me
when every road i walk on
keeps crumbling into dust.
i blend with the canyons
as distant mesas forshadow
the way through the badlands
and it ain't no sin to be glad to be alive.


Monday, 24 April 2017

ripped off #1 (film noir - gaslight anthem)

run.

i lit a fire that wouldn't go out
dancing around, a true fool in the night
until we consumed the walls and roof of this house. 

one note to burn, ripped from my broken heart
i'm leaving and i ain't coming back
cos you lit a fire that wouldn't go out.

i take the burning roadside,
drive circles round the blazing life i had
until it consumed the walls and roof of this house. 

no one's gunna tell you, no one's gunna say
the bricks you hit will sometimes knock you down
but i lit a fire that wouldn't go out.

and we're all travelling down the same damn line
building from the ashes then sparking the match again
until it consumes the walls and roof of your house.

there's a dirty music soundtrack on the long and open road,
it's left me bloody, but i keep on rolling on
cos i lit a fire that wouldn't go out
until it consumed the walls and roof of this house. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

business

(what do you do for money honey? ac/dc tribute gig, 24-11-15)

you see me riding round in cars
and hanging out in bars
i'll sell it wherever there's a dollar.
i dress in leathers red
in the car or on a bed
i'll suck your money clean right off the dresser.
so you can wonder all you like
if it keeps you up all night
i don't care, that's just more chance you'll come find me.

as for my kicks
and my dirty, dirty licks... 
my mother said to get things done
you gotta do business with guys who cum.
my mother said to get things done
you gotta earn your money from guys that cum.

you think i'm at your command
and the deeds that you demand
are taking pieces of my very soul,
but i can tell you honey
once i got your money
everything i touch round here is gold.
so you can wonder all you like
if it keeps you up all night
i don't care, that's just more chance you'll come find me.

as for my kicks
and my dirty, dirty licks... 
my mother said to get things done
you gotta do business with guys who cum.
my mother said to get things done
you gotta earn your money from guys that cum.

there's no mystery to this bitch
i'm gunna strike it rich
from schoolboy punks to beaks with big fat wallets.
from up here the view is fine,
close the doors and pour the wine
i'm the business, the pushing, shoving,
          grabbing, stabbing, kneeling, taking business.

as for my kicks
and my dirty, dirty licks... 
my mother said to get things done
you gotta do business with guys who cum.
my mother said to get things done
you gotta earn your money from guys with cum.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

celebrate

the officer said
"you should always try
to celebrate the victories"
we will be the hollow winners
over being stuffed in a car boot
or down a back alley
we will be a walking testimony
through the parks and streets
without it being in memorial
we will be the warrior women
(and the weapons that i carry
make me bold)
and if ever there's a time to hold
our heads high it is now.

nightmare #1

it started in nightmares
there were always crowds
and the crowds were always festive
often there was food involved
long tables lavished with plates
and platters full of every food group
the message seemed to be
nourish the humans
(while there's still time)
sometimes they were outside
in the parklands, where the
melancholic nightbirds and
rustling undergrowth
did not dampen the
celebratory spirit
i clearly remember the feasting
i was gorging with the best of them
the rest of them
until all of them
turned into vampires.
it is a very real fear
in dreams
hot body spasms
and it's not so much 
their vampire teeth
and catacomb breath
as the thrill that shines
from behind their eyes
as they swoop,
and i run.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

ode to my gut

in facing the fear 
i find myself wanting 
wanting the paralysis
to stop wracking
my body
wanting to reach out 
for anything with meaning 
wanting, even, to do
penance for my lacking...
it comes from my core
you see 
i let my gut 
control my every move 
it wants nothing 
but attention. 

queen of my nieces

i only have a very short time
to be queen of my nieces,
where i get to blow bubbles
on heir tummies,
whisper christopher robin
in their ears,
tell them stories they don't 
understand yet
but one day will.

it's our time to dress up
in butterflies and gumboots,
tiaras and tulle,
the time to sell mudpies for $500
and for falling over on the grass
cos you've spun too fast in excitement.
it's a time to sit close on the sofa
reading books about bears
and reluctant cats who complain loudly.

already you are changing
as i try to catch your attentions
with treasures from the past,
the art and the music that moved me
as we paste and draw and climb trees
and drink tea made of sand
in the fantasyland
where i'm queen of my nieces.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

bill

it's five minutes to midnight
and i'm taking a clown's advice,
it's laced with ennui and cynicism
and dick jokes that
we can both laugh at.

i buy him a meal because
i can see that he has been crying,
and over his black coffee steam 
he tells me to abandon the tightrope
and hitch myself to a carny
cos the best any of us 
can expect is mud.

outside the world remains 
ringleader distant, and it's late but there
is still news to deliver.
i promise to plant mushrooms
on his grave so he can carry on
entertaining the living.